U.S. Factory Shipped To China

Eight months after a factory that makes television screens shut down, an invasion of sorts has landed in Pennsylvania.

Scavenger crews are now dismantling the plant for a Chinese company that's bought the equipment and plans to put it to work on its own soil, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta.

"Our competition is overseas and people in the United States are losing out," said former factory worker Ron Welch.

Welch and 1,100 other workers once made TV screens here. Now they see trucks clearing an economic battlefield that America lost.

"It's hard to watch our jobs going down the road in tractor trailers," said Scott Conway, another laid-off worker.

Once this project is finished and the equipment is reassembled in its new plant in China, the workers won't be making $18 an hour. Over there, the average wage is closer to $2 a day.

The factory's owner, Corning, claims it no longer made sense to build the screens in Pennsylvania, as most TVs are now assembled in Asia. That's where the company is opening its own new factories.

"So you have to decide whether you're going to continue to bleed cash and try to maintain your position, or exit the business and invest your resources into something new," said Corning spokesman Paul Rogoski.

Innovation, free-trade advocates maintain, stimulates the economy and will eventually create jobs here at home.

But critics say laid-off workers can't wait that long.

"If we don't address this situation and take a very cavalier approach to outsourcing, to allowing imports into this country unfairly, we will not have a manufacturing base left in this country," said Larry Lasoff, an international trade attorney.

As for Corning's laid-off workers, some have found jobs taking apart their old plant.

Ron Welch would rather drive a school bus at $20 dollars a day.

"Hold onto your hats," Welch said. "Because eventually, if we don't stop this, you're going to be out of a job."
  • Dan Collins

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